Is Entitlement Generational?

A friend posted a really interesting article today, it was from the Business Insider and it was about who the most entitled generation is.  I will summarize but I wont go into great detail.  if you would like to read it here is the link  It basically said that the millennials are being blamed for being entitled because “we are a lazy cohort of entitled and narcissistic brats — the proverbial Generation Me”.  The go on to say that the actual entitled generation is the Baby Boomer generation who focus on short term economic boosts that serve themselves and not future generations.  I completely agree yet disagree with this article.

I agree with this article because taken at surface value they are right.  The older generation which is currently in power are far more concerned with their own economic gain than they are on the greater good for the country as well as future generations.  Politicians make decisions based on who pays them the most, most of them have stock in major companies that focus more on profits than on whats good for the people, or even what is ethical.  Government agencies are being run by people who hold stock in companies they are supposed to keep in check.  The government today is extremely corrupt, and it is mainly being run by the baby boomers, so yes they would be blamed for being the “entitled generation”.

I disagree though because I honestly believe that it has nothing to do with generations and everything to do with accessibility.  I think the author of this article forgot to look at history, as most people do.  I think we can, based on the assumptions of the article, completely predict what is going to happen in the next 50 years or so.  How can we predict, because history repeats itself.  The ideas proposed by the millennials aren’t new ideas.  In fact many of them are taken directly from the baby boomers when they were that age.  Look at the counterculture of the 1960’s.  Instead of gaining momentum from the Civil Rights movement we have the LGBT movement.  Instead of the Vietnam War we have the War on Terror.  Women’s Rights are making a comeback.  Take a second look at the hippie and bohemian lifestyle.  The farm, Haight Ashbury, communes.  We now have the tiny house movement, co-op farming, even the communes are making a comeback.  These ideas aren’t new.  Focusing on alternative energy, getting ourselves away from under the corporate thumb, even the Occupy movement isn’t a new idea.

If these ideas were shared by the generation that we are now claiming are “entitled” and doing the same things they were fighting against, what went wrong and how can we prevent it?

I think the problem comes in with how America is set up and how forgetful we are.  In the 1960’s as in today The younger generation was upset with the focus on material possessions that the older generation was focused on.  In both instances there is a huge push to separate ourselves from material possessions.  The problem comes in where as the dissatisfied generation grows up the opportunities that were denied to them by the older generation now becomes available.  They are now in charge of companies, the government, have the ability to make the money they didn’t have access to before.  Now all the material possessions they couldn’t have before are available to them.  Greed sets in.  The article even says “More than any other generation, we eschew expensive possessions like cars and large houses, opting instead for bikes and shared living spaces. Sure, we would like to own all that fancy stuff someday, but we realize that we can’t have everything we want.” Two things about this: 1) l think the baby boomers shunned these material possessions just as much when they were the same age. and 2) Even the author is admitting that if they did have the resources they would “own all that fancy stuff one day”.  Thus becoming their parent’s generation.  To truly fix the system, to truly be a generation that will “make the “hard” choices the baby boomers have refused to make.” we have to first stop WANTING these things.  We can’t complain about the older generation being “entitled” just because they have the things that we want.  Nothing will change if this is the case.  To truly make a difference, to truly make a real change we have to finally put what is right for our country above money and material possessions, and i don’t think this generation gets it either.

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